Wondering how to fix EPC light on VW? The Volkswagen Jetta has about 64 warning lights. The EPC warning light happens to be one of them. It’s also referred to as the Electronic Power Control warning light and is programmed to pop up when you have a problem with your throttle system.
In today’s post, we’ll explain how to fix EPC light on VW Jetta, Passat, Beetle, Polo, Tiguan, or Golf. The light simply indicates that you have an issue with the throttle body, throttle pedal, cruise control, or traction control in your car.
What Causes a VW EPC Light to Come on?
The Electronic Power Control system is controlled by the engine control unit, steering control unit, and brake control unit. If the engine control unit fails, the fuel efficiency and performance of your car can drop dramatically. Some people report experiencing a car that’s shaking, loss of power, and no start.
It’s possible for the EPC light to illuminate together with other warning lights. This is because the system is integrated with other functionalities. This can sometimes make it a bit of a challenge to diagnose the problem.
The most common causes behind a VW EPC light include:
- Faulty engine sensor
- Bad air sensor
- Faulty brake lights
- Wiring issues
- Cruise control problem
- Internal engine problem
- Faulty steering sensor
- Bad ABS sensor
- Throttle body failure
- Power steering failure
- Throttle body malfunction
How do I reset my VW EPC light?
1. Start the car and step on the gas
If you’re a DIY-er and you wish to fix the EPC light, the first thing you can do is start the car normally and then turn it off. Start it for a second time and step on the gas pedal all the way to the floor. This works in some but not all cases.
It’s not always a good idea to reset the EPC light without addressing the underlying problem. As such, it’s recommended that you head over to a skilled mechanic or to your dealer for them to figure out which of the throttle’s systems is causing the light to pop up. Most of the time, you will have enough power to get there.
2. Reset or replace engine sensor
One of the first things that the mechanic or dealer can do is reset or replace the engine sensor. Engine sensors are used to make sure there’s enough fuel for all engine operations. Resetting or replacing them can fix the EPC light.
3. Inspect electrical connections
It’s also a good idea to inspect all electrical connections linked to the throttle body. Check to see if any of the connectors are corroded or filled with green material. You can use a wire brush to remove all the rust. Your Volkswagen EPC light might go off after the cleaning.
4. Detect the problem using an OBD-II Scanner
Using an OBD2 scanner is the fastest, easiest, and best way to find the problem behind your VW EPC light. It helps to read the trouble codes stored inside one of your control units. For this particular problem, you’ll need to scan the:
- Engine control unit
- Steering control unit
- Transmission control unit
- ABS control unit
You may need a more advanced OBD2 scanner that can access all these control units. The cheapest ones can only read the codes stored. Any compatible diagnostic equipment that can connect to the vehicle’s data link connector will also work.
Once you have the code, you’ll be able to trace the problem. This allows for repairs and replacement of any parts that are damaged within the throttle system. It also allows you to reset the control unit in question. The EPC warning light should turn off once done.
Can you drive with the VW EPC light on?
You can drive your Volkswagen to a mechanic or dealer when the EPC light comes on. This unless if you’re experiencing a no-start condition. It’s best to have the problem fixed as soon as possible. The EPC light means that there’s a problem within your throttle system that needs to be checked.
Driving with the light while it’s still on for an extended period can cause the car to lose power, have limited steering and brake functions, or cause engine damage. Also, modern VW cars come with an electronic stability program (ESP) that is related to the EPC. If it detects a problem with the system, it can shut the car off and prevent you from driving any further.
Related: How to Reset the ESP Light on a Mercedes Benz
Can the EPC warning light cause a loss of power?
Many engine management systems have something called a “limp-in mode” that restricts the functionalities of the vehicle once the system detects a problem. Some of the limitations that kick in include restricting the vehicle’s speed and preventing the automatic transmission from shifting out of the second gear.
This is commonly known as the “error-tolerant design.” It helps to prevent the user from causing unintended damage to the drivetrain. It’s also possible to cause other problems, especially in the cooling, emissions, and transmission systems. The design allows the owner of the car to get to the dealership as safely as possible.
Can a dead battery cause the EPC light to come on?
Yes. Some of your car’s electricals, including the sensors and systems, rely on baseline voltage to work properly. A slight drop in that voltage due to a dead battery or bad alternator can shut the vehicle completely or cause drivability issues. This then causes the EPC light to come on. The problem can also be caused by a loose or bad battery cable.
Related: Simple Ways to Revive A Dead Car Battery (Even if You’re a Novice)
How much does it cost to fix an EPC light on VW jetta?
The average cost of fixing the EPC light is not cast in stone. It may cost $100 or go as high as $400 if not more. This is due to the different underlying problems that can cause the EPC light to come on. Your mechanic will need to first trace the problem before fixing the EPC.
Your Volkswagen EPC warning light is something that you could clear easily or a problem that needs close attention from an automotive expert. We hope that this article helps you solve the problem. Stay tuned for more articles on how to do simple fixes on your vehicle.